NPFL Matchday 37 Round-up: Akwa United crowned champions as Ifeanyi Ubah gets relegated to NNL 9ja Flavour | Nigeria sports news, transfers & gossips
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NPFL Matchday 37 Round-up: Akwa United crowned champions as Ifeanyi Ubah gets relegated to NNL

Pillars, Nasarawa United, Rivers United win to remain in continental contention

Akwa United hammered MFM 5-2 in their NPFL matchday 37 encounter to claim their first league title in 25-year history on their home turf, the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.

On Sunday, Plateau United defeated Dakkada FC at the New Jos Stadium by two goals to nil, with second half goals from Ibrahim Buhari and Oche Salefu Ochowechi securing the points for the Peace Boys at home in the penultimate match of the 2020/21 season.

Warri Wolves took a giant step towards survival in their Matchday 37 encounter with Heartland after picking up a 1-0 win over the Naze Millionaires at the Ozoro Poly Stadium in Delta. Attacking midfielder Emmanuel Ihezuo scored from the penalty spot in the 60th minute after Paschal Eze handled the ball in the Heartland penalty box. Warri Wolves are now only one point away from safety in the league with one match left to play.

Katsina United picked up a 1-0 win over Abia Warriors in their NPFL Matchday 37 encounter at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium to ease any relegation fears and put daylight between themselves and the relegation zone. Mansoor Aliyu scored what turned out to be the match-winner in the 40th minute for the Changi Boys.

Jigawa Golden Stars condemned FC Ifeanyi Ubah to the NNL and moved out of the relegation zone themselves with a comprehensive 3-0 win at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium on Kaduna. Second-half goals from Sanni Bature, Ali Kalla and Samuel Stone sealed the result. The Anambra Warriors will face at least a campaign in the second tier of Nigerian football, joining Adamawa United in getting relegated in the 2020/21 season. Jigawa Golden Stars now have a two-point cushion over the relegation zone.

Nasarawa United put an end to Rangers’ continental dreams with a 3-0 thrashing at the Lafia Township Stadium in their matchday 37 clash. Ikenna Ofor, Aliyu Abdullahi and Ini Edem scored the goals for the Solid Miners in their win. They remain in second place on 65 points and in prime position to qualify for next season’s CAF Champions League.

Kano Pillars picked up a hard-fought 1-0 win over Wikki Tourists at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna. Auwalu Ali Mallam scored his side’s only goal in the 90th minute to secure a priceless victory for them. Pillars remains in third place on 64 points, one clear of fourth-place Rivers United. Defeat for Wikki Tourists means that they are only separated from the relegation zone by goal difference. Defeat by a three-goal swing in their last match of the season will prove disastrous to them.

Rivers United claimed an impressive 3-1 victory over Lobi Stars at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium on Monday. Goals from Morice Chukwu, Nelson Esor and Sunday Adetunji put them 3-0 up before Duke Oshimaga scored a consolation goal from the penalty spot for the visitors. The Pride of Rivers remains in contention for continental qualification after an important win as they sit only one point outside the continental qualification places.

Enyimba lost ground in their pursuit of continental football after they could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to relegation-threatened Sunshine Stars on Matchday 37 in an admirable performance by Sunshine Stars. Emmanuel Ampiah gave Enyimba the lead after one hour, before Sunshine Stars defender Ejike Uzoechi popped up to put the ball in the back of the net in the 77th minute and steal a point for the Akure Gunners. Enyimba remains in 5th place level on points with Rivers United, but their greatly inferior goal difference puts them at a disadvantage heading into the final game of the season. Enyimba coach Fatai Osho looked distraught at the final whistle after his side failed to secure a win that would have put them in third place. Sunshine Stars’ point puts them on 41 points, one point from safety heading into the final round of fixtures.

Relegated Adamawa United got beaten at home 2-0 by Kwara United in their Matchday 37 encounter. Goals from Michael Ohanu and Captain Christopher Nwaeze settled the tie in favour of the Afonja Warriors. Kwara United remains in contention for qualification for continental football at the end of Matchday 38.

Salahudeen Sulayman

Sulayman is a sports enthusiast and budding Sports writer. You can reach him on Twitter @Sulayman_Salah

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